Public Release:  AAAS announces Science Journalism Award winners

American Association for the Advancement of Science

Washington, D.C.-23 January 2002- They told tales of buried treasure, mummies and the race to map the human genome, and for their efforts they are among the twelve journalists to win the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) 2001 Science Journalism Awards.

The following journalists will be recognized as winners in the six categories that make up the awards program, which is sponsored by The Whitaker Foundation:

Online

David J. Tenenbaum, Sue Medaris, Terry Devitt, Darrell Schulte and Amy Toburen of The Why Files won for their online site "Buried Treasure" (5 October 2000). The site utilized the multimedia capabilities of the internet and succeeded in making obscure topics, such as coal liquefaction, interesting to a general audience.

Newspapers with a circulation of more than 100,000

Scott Shane of The Baltimore Sun was recognized for his special series, "A Quiet Crusade" (22-24 October 2000). He was praised for painting a vivid portrait about a Johns Hopkins University program to bring much-needed vitamins to the people of Nepal

Newspapers with a circulation of less than 100,000

Richard Monastersky of The Chronicle of Higher Education won for the articles, "Nowhere Men: Scientists Debate What Happened to Neanderthals?" (8 September 2000); Under the Volcano (30 March 2001); Where Have All the Frogs Gone? (20 April 2001)." Monastersky demonstrated a mastery of the science beat and wrote with an edge. His reporting was thorough and had some of the best explications of the debate to date.

Magazines

Heather Pringle won for the "Secrets of the Alpaca Mummies" that ran in Discover (April 2001). Her strong narrative drew from a wonderful confluence of agriculture, archeology, and zoology. The story conveys a fantastic sense of history.

Radio

Christopher Joyce of National Public Radio was recognized for his programs on All Things Considered: "Stargazing 1: International Gemini Telescope Project (4 June 2001)," "Wasp Observed Reprogramming a Spider to Adjust Web-building Technique (20 July 2000)," and "How Life Got Started on Earth Researched (29 January 2001)." Joyce created original radio programming on the process of science, applying the effective use of sound effects to establish environment, as he covered unique topics that may not normally receive attention from the general media.

Television

Betsey Arledge, Julia Cort and Robert Krulwich of WGBH/NOVA won for their two-hour program, "Cracking the Code of Life" (17 April 2001). They followed the race to decode the human genome between the Human Genome Project and Celera Genomics. The producers won the award for portraying the impact of science on society and keeping a well-exposed topic stimulating through an exciting mix of interviews, sharp writing, and graphics.

Since the inception of the awards program in 1945, more than 300 individuals have been honored for their significant achievements in the field of science reporting. The Whitaker Foundation, which supports research and training in biomedical engineering, has sponsored the AAAS Science Journalism Awards since 1995. The 2001 awards will be presented by Tim Radford of The Guardian on 15 February 2002 at the Prudential Center, Top of the Hub, during the AAAS Annual Meeting.

Independent screening and judging committees comprised of scientists and science journalists selected the winning entries based on their scientific accuracy, initiative, originality, clarity, and value in fostering a better public understanding of science.

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Founded in 1848, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) works to advance science for human well-being through its projects, programs and publications in the areas of science policy, science education and international scientific cooperation. With over 134,000 members from 130 countries and 273 affiliated societies comprising more than 10 million members, AAAS is the world's largest federation of scientists. The association also publishes Science, an editorially independent, multidisciplinary, weekly peer-reviewed journal that ranks as the world's most prestigious scientific journal and administers EurekAlert! (www.eurekalert.org), the online news service featuring the latest discoveries in science and technology.

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